Sunday, June 20, 2010

Prize Of A Lifetime by Donna Hill

Kimani Press - October 2009
Reviewer: Missy
Rating: 5

How Far Will U Go

Donna Hill writes a fun seductive novel about love, prizes, and competition. Hill has created two characters that have you cheering for both sides of the competition. Can this couple win the prize and the love?

When Mitch Davenport life took a turn for the worst he watched both his business and the woman he thought would be there forever fall apart. But in the midst of tragedy Mitch has been offered the opportunity of a lifetime, giving him a chance to rebuild his life and regain all that he lost plus more. But before this can happen, Mitch has to learn how to accept life and all its surprise.

Sasha Carrington has always dream of having her own and making her mark on the world. When Sasha is offered the opportunity of a lifetime, she never expected to find a man who not only sparks her interest but also wins her heart. The question still remains will her need for independence overrule her heart or will she choose and allow them to have it all.

In Prize of a Lifetime, Donna Hill turns up the heat with this amazing couple. She gives us a couple with real strengths and weaknesses, making them own up to their downfalls before their true density can take shape. Definitely, another Donna Hill hit.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

It Had To Be You by Francis Ray

St. Martin's Paperbacks, April 2010
Reviewer: Missy
Rating: 5

Identity Crisis

Francis Ray returns with the family and close net friends that everyone has come to love and adore.

Laurel Raineau is a world renowned violinist struggling with her career after the lost of her father. Zachary "Rolling Deep" Wilder is a well known producer, working with some of the best artist in the business. Zachery is interested in working with Laurel but wants nothing to do with Zach and the reputation that follows him. Determined to find his goal Zachery works his way into Laurel's life keeping his identity a secret.

Laurel and Zach are not looking for love but love is determined to find a way. Will Laurel and Zach find their way to love when Zach true identity is revealed. Will Laurel be able to separate the man from the rumor. Will Zach win the woman despite his reputation.

Francis Ray writes an exciting story about two passionate artists, in love with their music yet too blind to see their love for each other. Will their love for music lead to the love of a lifetime.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Every Woman Needs A Wife by Naleighna Kai

Strebor Books, June 2006
Reviewer: Missy
Rating: 4.5

Can I Have A Wife…?

Brandi Spencer has been faithful to her husband for over thirteen years. But when she gets wind of him and his mistress Brandi decides to rock both of their worlds with an unheard of proposition. In pure diva style, Brandi takes the concept of common property to a whole new level. Brandi is making Vernon pay for and maintain his mistress who will in essence become Brandi’s wife, helping Brandi maintain the family home in payment for the time she took Vernon away from his family.

Tonya Kauffman, the mistress, came from a hard life and Vernon was her road to a life she has always wanted. After years of running, Tonya is finally ready to settle down with her vision of the perfect man, a widower with two children. Her perfect world disappears with the appearance of Mrs. Vernon Spencer. When Brandi makes her unorthodox proposal Tonya takes it unaware of how much the new situation would change her life.

Vernon Spencer was truly a daddy’s boy. When William Spencer introduces Vernon to the big boys club Vernon feels a need to man up at least in the eyes of his father. His solution is to set up and maintain a mistress. His mistake was to use company funds to maintain his mistress opening the door to Michael Cobb, an old time rival for his wife and the man who keeps the company accounts.

Every Woman Needs a Wife was a thought provoking read that made you laugh, cry, and say YOU GO GIRL at the same time. Naleighna Kai takes a situation that would rock the world of most married women and turns it into literary gold. The two heroine’s of this story learn what it really means to be a strong woman and form a bond one would never expect between the wife and the mistress. Every Woman Needs a Wife is an excellent read filled with enough drama, social commentary, and witty dialog to keep the pages turning. It is a fun, eye opening read that most women can relate to on some level.

Miami Attraction by Elaine Overton

Kimani Press, May 2010
Reviewer: Missy
Rating: 4

Elaine Overton writes a fun loving piece about two individuals with a lot in common including a love for furry K9 friends and a truck load of personal demons. Will their keep them from finding happiness together?

Mikayla Shroebr has a two hundered pound playful, lovable and destructive mutt named Angel, that is always leaving her in a bind. Mikayla knows that something must be done Angel and his lack of doggie manners ASAP. Dr. Dusty Warren is a man with a heart for animals and a reputation for being able to tame the wildest of them all. Dusty Warren is Mikayla's last hope while Angel and Mikayla are Dusty Warren's biggest challenge. Will dusty and Mikayla be able the battle their personal demons and find the love and passion they both desire?

Elaine has written an fun story filled with moments of intensity and excitement. The story was a pleasant and enjoyable read for any fan of romance.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Swept Away by Gwynne Forster

Kimani Press, May 2009 (Reprint)
Reviewer: Missy
Rating: 3.5

When Schyuler Henderson, a children's advocate and engineer, learns about the injury of a young girl in foster care, he takes the agency in charge of this girl to task critically injuring the career of Veronica Overton, the head of this child welfare agency. When Veronica learns of the chargers and find herself on the bad end of a major child welfare controversy, she is determine to both clear her name and that of the reputation of the agency. He search for the truth leads her to family secrets and growing attraction for Schyuler Henderson, the man responsible for damaging her career. Schyuler's traumatic past lead him to be a champion for for children. When he learns that Veronica is not the woman he though he was he is determine to help her resolve her past the rebuild her reputation. Will these two find love despite the controversy.

Swept Away starts out slow, but picks up as the book progresses taking readers on an interesting walk through a relationship with large hurtles to overcome. The large array of secondary characters give this story an amazing amount of depth, making the story true to life and enhancing the growing relationship between our hero and heroine. In true Gwynne Foster style all the characters and their stories touch your heart, providing readers with a three dimensional story that will draw you in as your turn the pages.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Life Knows No Bounds: 1 Who Luvs U More

Around-The-Way Publishing, October 2009
Reviewer: LaShonda
Rating: 3.5

Alisa has lived her life as a gold digger. She sets out to use men, determined to live life by the words her great grandmother spoke to her on her death bed, "Always get a man who loves you more than you love him." When Alisa sees that dirty Omar has grown up and come into his own, she sets her sights on making him her latest benefactor.

Omar grew up in the traditional Muslim family, that is until his mother turns to drugs and his father lands in prison. Having risen from the shame of homelessness as a result of his mothers drug use, Omar has his sights set on winning notorious gold digger, Alisa's, heart.

Set in New Jersey during the '80's, 1 Who Luvs U More takes the reader into the world wind life of Omar and Alisa and their struggle to overcome the ghosts of their past. Peppered with moments of pain and personal growth, the presence of the supporting characters adds to the emotion of the story.

While I enjoyed the story I was mildly distracted by the authors style of writing. There were points where the creative use of different font types and the use of certain terms, was not easily understood essentially slowing down my reading pace and distracting me from the story. The issues addressed and the context in which they were handled made this story worth a second glance. I recommend this story to readers looking for something outside the traditional format of urban lit. This story focused more on the people as opposed to the "game". There are enough twist and secrets to hold your interest until the last page.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Basketball Jones by E. Lynn Harris

Doubleday, January 2009
Reviewer: ChiTown Haitienne
Rating: 4

Have you ever wondered about 'the other man' in the relationship with a married man who's afraid to come out of the closet? E. Lynn takes you on a journey inside his world. True to his style, E Lynn gives you an outrageous Queen diva, a confident gay man who let's love take him to a place he thought he'd never venture, and drama with a capital 'D'.

Basketball Jones reminded me of why I love E. Lynn's writing. He does a perfect job of getting the reader to understand the plight of the gay man, whether he's confused or sure in the lifestyle he's chosen, and the characters he creates will have you talking out loud to the book. Despite this not being one of E. Lynn's strongest works, Basketball Jones was an entertaining read in true E. Lynn Harris style.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Permission Slips by Sherri Sherpard

Grand Central Publishing, October 2009
Reviewer: LaShonda
Rating: 3.5

Sherri Shepherd does not claim to have lived a perfect life, nor does she set out to prove that she now has all the answers. Permission slips is a collection of stories, each with their own life lesson thrown in for good measure. From her struggle with growing up Jehovah Witness to her rise to Hollywood fame, Sherri gives us a glimpse inside her growing pains. Her openness and candidness is refreshing and helps to better understand the woman we see five days a week on The View.

If you are thinking this is yet another self help book or a celebrity’s watered down version of their climb to fame, think again. Reading Permissions Slips is like having a conversation with one of your best friends. Broken down into her life’s milestones, this book shows us how Sherri learned to give herself a permission slip to not be perfect.

You will laugh, cry and get mad at Sherri as she sometimes makes the same mistake twice. In all, this is a good read and a great example of why there is really no need to beat yourself up about the mishaps of life. I not only learned a little more about Ms Shephard, but I saw that sometimes I just need to write my own permission slips in life. I recommend this to readers of all genres who may be tired of the cookie cutter celebrity books.

Silken Betrayal by Francis Ray

Kimani Press, Feb 1999
Reviewer: LaShonda
Rating: 4

Lauren Bennett lived a life that consisted of her job as an executive secretary and being a single mother to 5 year old Joshua. Since the accident that claimed the lives of her husband and her mother, Lauren’s main concern has been to keep her son happy and safely away from his father’s influential parents.
Jordan Hamilton was a successful business man with a grudge against Lauren’s father-in-law. Jordan is determined to make him pay for the undo pain and humiliation his greed and lies caused to his family.

Lauren’s plus sized friend Sonja is trying to show her friend that it is ok for her to be a mom and love again. The blossoming love between Lauren and Jordan is mixed with mystery and intrigue as we learn just what harm Lauren’s father-in-law caused and tries to continue to cause in the lives of Jordan and Lauren. The mystery of Jordan’s grudge and how it will affect Lauren keeps you on edge throughout and has you routing for Lauren, Jordan and Joshua.

The relationship that Joshua begins to form with Jordan will pull at your heart strings as Joshua begins to experience things he was missing as a young boy growing up without a dad. Romance lovers will surely enjoy this love story told as only Mrs. Ray can. I recommend this book to readers of romance and Francis Ray. If you are looking to read an erotic work place drama this is the story for you.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Table For Three by Recha G. Peay

Urban Soul: October 2009
Reviewer: LaShonda
Rating: 4

Shiquanna is an alcoholic exotic dancer with a few high paying dates on the side. She has life demons that she is fighting as she drowns her soul in alcohol. Yvonne is an unemployed CPA whose current stint of charity work at the church is about more than a pure heart. Toting her bible and holy water she is ready to cast out the demons of her friends, but needs to take a closer look at her own demons. India is a professional college student struggling with her identity. She has changed major more often than people change their underwear,

These three women could not be any more different, but life brought them together and love for each other keeps them grounded. Each week they meet to provide whatever intervention they feel must be performed in each others lives. As the story unfolds we find that they all have issues of their own that need to be worked out.

Table for Three is a re-coming of age story about three women approaching milestones in their lives. Shiquanna, India and Yvonne are likable and believable characters. You will find yourself ready to throw the book across the room in frustration as these three women become a part of your own sister-girl fold.

If you enjoy contemporary women’s lit, you will enjoy this tale of growing pains. I recommend this to any one looking to read chick lit without the cookie cutter lifestyles. These women are real and will have you frustrated, laughing and eventually cheering for their Table for Three.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Madam Eve by Eddrick Dejuan

Atonement Publishing, LLC: March 2008
Reviewer: Tiffany
Rating: 3

Evelyn divorced her retired pro-football player husband when she could no longer deal with his lying and cheating ways. As for their pre-nuptial agreement, the judge ruled in Evelyn's favor due to his treatment of her during their marriage. As a way to “help” other women get back at their cheating husbands, Evelyn decides to open an escort business. But, while she is plotting revenge somehow love happens.

This book rated a 3 for a number of reasons. First, the author could have developed the storyline more. I should have been more of a back story on the relationship between Andrew and his father. Next there were a quiet a few typographical errors. This book was in need of some major editing. And, the last but not least the cover art was just lacking. It looked very basic, dull and did not convey what the story was about. Overall, this was a quick read with a plot that will keep the reader interested.

Every Woman's Got A Secret by Brenda L Thomas

Pocket: January, 2007
Reviewer: Tiffany
Rating: 2

Every Woman's Got A Secret follows Caroline, a very popular and successful vee-jay. Her employer decides to take her show on the road and hires an intern, Mari, to help make this happen. Mari seems to be the perfect intern, coming up with great and exciting show ideas and just falling into place with the show. But she is a very private about her personal life as if she has something to hide. Over time, Caroline and Mari develop a close friendship and then all of the deception, intrigue, romance and murder begin.

This book did not live up to the billing. I was quite intrigued by the opening of the book but it did not live up to the hype. The storyline became quite predictable and did not have me wondering what would happen next. I continued to read the book to the end as I have enjoyed some of the author’s other work. But, this book did not entertain me as other books written by Brenda L. Thomas.

Forever My Lady by Jeff Rivera

Grand Central Publishing: July 2007
Reviewer: Tiffany
Rating: 4

There is nothing quite like young love, and this book is an engaging story about two young people named Dio and Jennifer. Dio is a gang member who ends up in boot camp and Jennifer is a victim of a gun shooting. Forever My Lady is the story of their relationship and tells in vivid detail of its survival under extreme circumstances.

Forever My Lady is a realistic portrayal of a teenage love that keeps the reader engrossed for the outcome. Jeff Rivera does an excellent job of describing the emotions and the struggles that the two main characters encounter. This book kept me interested until the very last page and left me wanting for more. I would recommend this book to others.